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Rep. King Fear-Mongers On Obama’s Plan To Close Gitmo: It Could Give 9/11 Mastermind A ‘Path To Citizenship’

By Matt Corley on January 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm

"Rep. King Fear-Mongers On Obama’s Plan To Close Gitmo: It Could Give 9/11 Mastermind A ‘Path To Citizenship’"

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king.jpgYesterday, President Obama signed an executive order requiring that Guantanamo Bay be closed within a year. Obama’s order has been criticized by some conservatives, such as Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who issued a statement saying that it “places hope ahead of reality” and was “unnecessarily risking the safety of our nation.”

Discussing Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo on Mike Gallagher’s radio show yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that Obama’s actions could be “the beginning of shutting down…the activities of the CIA.” When Gallagher said that Obama wanted to “bestow American citizenship rights to somebody from another country” who wants “to murder civilian Americans,” King claimed that closing Gitmo could put 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed “on a path to citizenship”:

KING: Let’s just say that, that, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, is brought to the United States to be tried in a federal court in the United States, under a federal judge, and we know what some of those judges do, and on a technicality, such as, let’s just say he wasn’t read his Miranda rights. … He is released into the streets of America. Walks over and steps up into a US embassy and applies for asylum for fear that he can’t go back home cause he spilled the beans on al Qaeda. What happens then if another judge grants him asylum in the United States and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is on a path to citizenship. I mean, I give you the extreme example of this.

King then took a shot at efforts to increase access to health care for children, saying that if Gitmo were closed, detainees “could actually live in the United States legally, and maybe, and after Nancy Pelosi gets done with S-CHIP, they can tap into welfare while they’re at it.” Listen here:

King isn’t alone in his fear-mongering about the closing of Guantanamo Bay. Announcing legislation yesterday to prohibit federal courts from ordering the release or transfer of detainees from the facility onto U.S. soil, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) declared that “closing Guantanamo Bay presents a clear and present danger to all Americans.”

As terrorism expert Peter Bergen noted on CNN last night, “the idea that somehow these terrorists are going to be released is just absolutely nonsensical.” “When terrorists have been tried in the United States, they go away forever,” said Bergen. “The embassy attackers in ’98 who blew up two American embassies, they are in prison for life without parole.”

Transcript:

KING: I don’t know how he avoids closing Gitmo, but the part that says he would…that the information that I’m getting is that he will also close any secret detention we have anywhere in the globe. That’s the beginning of shutting down, in some degrees, the activities of the CIA.

GALLAGHER: Well, what he’s doing, congressman, is breaking up the architecture of what has kept us safe since 9/11. And that’s what’s so terrifying. All of the foundation that President Bush put into place since 9/11 is being ripped apart by this new president, who clearly doesn’t think that these steps are necessary.

KING: I don’t think that he has, can have, the fear of the enemy or a decent respect for the capabilities of the enemy and move forward in this fashion. I cannot, and I’m a bit of a constitutionalist, but I cannot track the constitutional logic that would confer rights of citizenship, or rights of being an American, on these, our, enemy combatants.

GALLAGHER: On a foreign, a foreign terror suspect. I mean, that’s what he wants to do, is bestow American citizenship rights to somebody from another country, who wants to try, and the government alleges, has been involved in terror plots, to murder civilian Americans.

KING: Let’s just say that, that, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, is brought to the United States to be tried in a federal court in the United States, under a federal judge, and we know what some of those judges do, and on a technicality, such as, let’s just say he wasn’t read his Miranda rights.

GALLAGHER: Right.

KING: Pick another one, there are plenty of technicalities out there. He is released into the streets of America. Walks over and steps up into a US embassy and applies for asylum for fear that he can’t go back home cause he spilled the beans on al Qaeda. What happens then if another judge grants him asylum in the United States and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is on a path to citizenship. I mean, I give you the extreme example of this, but we’ve got a couple of 150 folks there and the potential’s there for every single on of them to be brought to the United States and find a path through our laws, that they could actually live in the United States legally, and maybe, and after Nancy Pelosi gets done with SCHIP, they can tap into welfare while they’re at it.

GALLAGER: Congressman Steve King, our guest here on the Mike Gallagher Show.

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